Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

TELEGRAM.

To N.A.Washington.1

L.2

127. Following from Vice Admiral Sims –

     To Secretary Navy Washington (begins)

     There is no evidence to indicate enemy submarine movements aimed at American troop convoys.3 Losses in operators are increasing – Sims. (ends)

1.S.L.4

Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/656.

Footnote 1: British Naval Attaché at Washington, Commo. Guy R. Gaunt. Sims sent his message through Gaunt, using a British cypher, to insure security.

Footnote 2: Refers to British cypher used.

Footnote 3: This highlights a longstanding debate between Sims and the Navy Department on priorities for escorts. Sims, and the British Admiralty, wanted to focus resources on protecting supplies coming into the British Isles, especially food. The Navy Department, however, preferred to prioritize troop transports. In this instance, Sims did not help his case, as the very next day an American troop convoy encountered a submarine. See: Seattle Report on Sighting of Submarine, 24 June 1917. For the debate between Sims and the Navy Department, see, Still, Crisis at Sea: 360-361.

Footnote 4: First Sea Lord Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe.

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